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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,225 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2010 Toyota Prius lights problems

lights problem

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2010 Toyota Prius Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Aug 062013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 39,830 miles


Last night, at 10 pm, on getting back to into my car to drive to my house 7 miles away, both the headlights did not work. The high beam lights were working, but the regular headlights did not. As a result, I was driving in dark on a single lane highway, and it was a very scary experience.

- Belle Mead, NJ, USA

problem #22

Aug 032013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
While on vacation on Aug 3, 2013, we were driving in the smoky mountains in gatlinburg, tn, via the scenic loop down from cades cove. I was driving and my husband, our 13 year old son (only child) and his 13 yr. Old buddy (my friend's only child) were the passengers. The route was a steep mountainside with typical winding mountain roads, pitch dark at ~8:30 pm. Suddenly, both headlights went out, together, at the same time. The dashboard showed that the headlights were on, no warning signs came on. I had driven through a tunnel a bit earlier and the headlights were both working. Panicked, I pulled over at the next lookout ledge, turned the car's power off and on several times, turned the lights off and on several times while the car was running - nothing. No cellphone service was available in the area. As I was hysterical and terrified beyond my wits, my husband took over driving duty and drove with the emergency flashers on. After a few miles of sheer panic and incoherence, it occurred to us to try the high beam, which fortunately worked and we are alive to tell the story today. As soon as we got cellphone signal we left messages for our friends in case we died they would know why. Get a grip, Toyota! I loved my Prius - this is my 2nd Prius, but I am now petrified to step in this car again. I found thousands of similar complaints online regarding both the Prius headlights failing at once, so Toyota you know I am not an isolated case. Horrible, dangerous problem with the 2010 Prius, you are risking lives!

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #21

Nov 012012


  • 30,000 miles
There is a chronic problem with the headlights on this car. They continually burn out, or, go out and than come back on when headlight is 'tapped' lightly. Dealer and independent repair shop(s) have replaced numerous times and problem recurs.

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #20

Apr 142013

Prius 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles


Both headlights failed to go on. Both functioned the day before. High beam lights still functioned. Extremely dangerous drive home.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 012012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
My headlight went out while driving. The dealer indicated the replacement cost would be between $300 and $400 for a single light bulb. The dealer indicated that I only use the lights when needed to prolong the life of that type of bulb.

- Lansing, IL, USA

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problem #18

Aug 072012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
The problem that is causing the head lights to burn out simultaneously needs to be resolved. It is a safety hazard for this to continue. Purchased a Toyota Prius 2010 in December 2010. Since that time, the head lights have been a problem. Each time there is a problem, both head lights burn out simultaneously. The first time the head lights failed was August 7, 2012 when there were five of us in the car driving 15+ miles with about a third of the drive on many residential streets that were not well lit. The dealership in Florida was called and it was explained that both headlights burned out at the same time and that it must be something other than the bulbs because headlights do not burn out together at the same time. The service representative quoted that the cost of the repair to replace the head lights was about $150. He did not ask if the car was under warranty and he did not acknowledge that it could be something in the electrical system. He did not suggest that the car be brought in to have them put it on diagnostic machines to verify where the problem may be.we opted to replace the bulbs ourselves. The second time both head lights burned out simultaneously was October 21, 2012 and we again, replaced the bulbs ourselves. The cost of the bulbs including tax is $54.36. This morning is the third time both lights have burned out at the same time again. The Prius has 35,840 miles. This is not reasonable. We have already spent $108.72 to replace the bulbs twice. It is unreasonable. It is extremely unsafe not knowing when and where the head lights will burn out. We have teenage drivers and it is upsetting to know they are not in a safe vehicle.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #17

Dec 152010


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact stated that the plastic cover on the front passenger's side headlight would become foggy, obstructing the contact's visibility of the roadway when driving during the night. In addition, there was rust on the passenger's side front fender. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician advised the contact that there were no failures found with the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 83,000.

- Boardman, OH, USA

problem #16

Nov 272012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 57,300 miles
My commute is 62 miles, one way. Tonight I realized my low beam headlights were not working. My high beams work. I drove the 62 miles with my high beams on. The fuses were fine. It is odd that both low beam lights were out at the same time but the high beams were fine. I searched online some and there were numerous similar problems with the Prius low beam lights.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #15

Sep 212012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The low beam headlights would not project far enough down the road. Replaced bulb multiple times.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #14

Oct 062012


  • 30,000 miles
Panel light dimmer inoperable when parking/head lights are turned on (I.e., there is no display on instrument panel for current speed, fuel volume, fuel consumption, etc. When driving with head lights on). This similarly affects the audio/HVAC display.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #13

May 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


Upon starting my car early this morning, the headlights would only work on bright. When dimmed, they would not work at all.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #12

May 302012

Prius 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Upon starting my car early this morning, the headlights would only work on bright. When dimmed, they would not work at all.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #11

Mar 152011

Prius 4-cyl

  • miles
The headlights shine in a pie shape at night. They should shine straight across. If you make a right turn where there are no street lights, and we have a lot of those around, you can not see if you are going to hit a person or the ditch. I go in the left lane to avoid an accident as long as there is no on coming traffic. This is the first care of many that had this problem.

- Winthrop Harbor, IL, USA

problem #10

Nov 012010

Prius 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The headlight beams do not disperse and project far enough down the road to see clearly at night requiring the use of high beams regularly. After contacting Toyota on-line, they recommended returning to the dealer, who checked the lights and indicated that they meet manufacturer specifications.

- Fanwood, NJ, USA

problem #9

Feb 072012


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph with the headlights activated and suddenly without warning, the headlights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was maneuvered cautiously to the side of the road. The contact planned to take the vehicle to a dealer for diagnosis and repair. Additionally, whenever the brakes were engaged while driving over a bump or uneven pavement, an unintended acceleration would occur. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 062010


  • 4,304 miles
Headlamps on 2010 Toyota Prius provide poor distance coverage for low beam headlights. As a result I hit a mattress in the roadway even though I was driving between 50 & 55 mph on a strait freeway section (I-15 at bundy canyon in riverside, California). Even though I was fully alert, the headlamps only provide about 30 feet of forward coverage which is inadequate to do anything than to swerve at the last moment to hit objects as significant as a mattress. This vehicle in my opinion does not meet California vehicle code section 22407(B).

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 272010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Prius. While stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle was hit from the rear by another vehicle. After the vehicle was hit, it accelerated to a high speed. The contact engaged the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate; the contact attempted to turn off the ignition but that did not stop the vehicle. The vehicle changed directions and crossed over a grassy area and crossed over three lanes of traffic and crashed into a concrete median. The contact stated that all the lights failed. The two passengers were injured. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Suffern, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 082010


  • miles
My Toyota Prius headlights go off frequently while driving. I must turn them off and on to have them come back on. It used to be one or the other at a time, however now both lights will go off at once. I was driving in very dark conditions when it happened last time and the road was pitch black. The fact that it was late at night is the only way I knew both lights were out. If I am driving at dusk or dawn, it is a major safety concern because it would be difficult to tell that my lights are off while I'm driving, but very difficult for others to see me coming down the road. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen. The Toyota dealership acknowledged that it is a known issue and initially said that the replacement would be covered. Then came back and said they have not been recalled so it would be out of my pocket. I was also told that I could just continue to turn the lights on and off when it happens because the life of the bulbs should not be up yet. That is not a good solution to me because I don't always know when one or both lights goes out and when it might be difficult for other drivers to see me. I feel that this is a known hazard that should be rectified by recalling/replacing these bulbs.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #5

Jun 292010


  • 63,033 miles
Driving home from dinner, my driver's side headlight went out again. I turned off my headlights, then back on and both lights came back on. There is definitely something wrong with the electrical system supporting the lighting. This is a safety hazard and it now has me nervous every time I get on the road that both lights could go out at any time pre-dawn, dusk or night. It is likely making Prius owners Focus too much on watching for signs their headlights are still on instead of concentrating on their driving.

- Huntingtown, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 052010


  • 10,000 miles
The led headlights on the Prius V only carries about 30 feet on low beam, so that only 30 mph is allowable at night driving with traffic. However, that is not the speed that anyone will drive. Thus, on low beams everyone outdrives their lights.

- Valley Head, WV, USA

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